Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Football 5 ~ Christmas Edition ~

🎵Tell me what you want - what you really really want!🎵
Baby Spice Image from Food & Wine Magazine via
The American Holiday Baking Show
Over the last week I poised a question to Rider fans on various social media platforms.  What are you wanting from Rider Claus this year?  Is it a quarterback, a new Roughriders jersey, the CBA to be settled or perhaps something else entirely?  The following Friday Football 5 Christmas Edition is a countdown to the number one item on every Rider fans wish list to the chubby dude who breaks and enters into all our homes on Christmas Eve.

This truck could be yours for $34.99 via The Rider Store
5.  Are you dreaming of a green and white Christmas?  If that answer is heck yeah!  Then you better check out the Rider Store's 13 days of Christmas for the deal of the day.  Right now there is free shipping in Canada with orders over $100.  I've purchased many Christmas items in this fashion over the years.  I noticed there is a Rider Santa tee shirt, trimmings for the tree, a nutcracker and the super popular truck with a tree in the back.  Hmmm....I might have to place another order!  Don't forget those Hillberk & Berk sparkle ball earrings for that special lady on your Christmas list.

4.  Rider fans want an announcement prior to Christmas with a number of the teams players who will be Free Agents in February re-signed with the team.  One big name on this list is Willie Jefferson who had 2 top 10 defensive plays in the CFL in 2018 and was seemingly snubbed in the CFL awards.  He doesn't have any NFL workouts planned and says his film stands for itself.  Since he is one of my favourite players it would be amazing to hear he'd be back with the Riders for 2019.

A previous Rider Store purchase
3.  It would stand to reason that many players on that Free Agent list likely don't want to sign because of the upcoming CFLPA negotiations.  It was announced early in the week that the CFL General Managers and Head Coaches will meet on January 10th, 2019 in Mount-Tremblant, Quebec.  They will meet with the media January 8th.  Wouldn't it be nice if all of these CBA issues were settled early in 2019 so the season can get underway?  Read the CFL's announcement HERE.

2.  Rider fans are not known for their/our/my ability to accept change.  Randy Ambrosie has instituted a coaching cap for 2019.  While it seems that Ambrosie has mostly changed things in the CFL for the better lot's of fans are seeing the detrimental effects of this "Rider Rule" since many teams have already had to part ways with staff.  If Randy doesn't shout Bazinga! then we all have to learn to accept this new situation.  While that's not really something Santa can bring us - it can strengthen our belief, hope and will to support our team through the next year and hopefully the number of coaches on staff has nothing to do with coaching a team to winning the Grey Cup...which is ultimately what Rider Nation wants in 2019.

1.  "I want a frickin' healthy QB and he stays around for awhile" are the exact words used by Twitters @trbltmd.  It's true.  The number one item on every Rider fans Christmas wish list is a healthy quarterback who not only leads the team for 2019 but stays loyal to the Riders for several years and leads us to the promised land.  While we'd like to think Mike Reilly is this guy, I've changed my thinking because I don't think the Riders want to throw the bank at him and sacrifice the rest of the team.  Collaros was a time bomb and that's not to say he wasn't well liked, it was just that he just wasn't able to take another hit and when that did happen (no thanks to Odell Willis) just when the Riders really had momentum in late October early November well, all hope was dashed.  Lot's of people think Jonathon Jennings is this teams best hope.  I'm remaining patient.  You never know when the person emerges as *that* guy when you didn't even know his name.  After all, in 2007 Darian Durant held a clip board and look how that turned out.  No matter the name of the quarterback, he's going to have to be strong of character because Rider Nation has HUGE expectations.

Dear Rider Claus... ($39.99 @ The Rider Store)
Thank you for being a reader of ABC Football and supporting all my adventures.  You can always find me on twitter (@smilingsandra), on facebook and instagram (@smilingriderfan) and don't forget to join ABC Rider Fans to get the scoop in 2019. I hope you find magic and sparkle over this holiday season and may Rider Claus bring us all our deepest hearts desire.  Go Riders!

Monday, December 3, 2018

For the Cookie Loving Football Fan

From "Christmas Cookies" by George Strait
A member at ABC Rider Fans Facebook Group asked that I post my recipe of cookies which were pictured at the end of Friday Footbal 5.  I saw a meme last week that says every recipe blog starts off with how the blogger was out for a wintery walk and it reminded them of tobogganing as a child and yadda yadda yadda and the poster just wanted to hurry up and get to the recipe and who cares about the other stuff.  While I do feel the pain of having to navigate all that nonsense to get to the real information I think we all want to share our warm fuzzy memories of the season with our readers, family and friends.

I was not an athletic person whatsoever so I've mentioned my last bit about tobogganing, but what I can tell you is that some of my fondest Christmas memories are of my Mom and me baking cookies. I remember having to kneel on a kitchen chair at the cupboard and watching with wild anticipation as Mom would roll out the dough and then we'd choose just the exactly right cookie cutters.  I was really blessed to have a childhood which contains sweet memories like these.  I was equally fortunate to have a niece and nephew who I was close to, so when I was older and married I'd invite them to my house to make cookies.  One year in particular, my niece was sick and couldn't come for cookie decorating so my nephew and I did it but put some aside in a special care package to take to her.  She proclaimed that the Christmas cookies held special healing powers because upon eating them she immediately was feeling better.

Flash forward to rabid Saskatchewan Roughrider @smilingriderfan.  I purchased a set of Wilton Football Themed cookie cutters several years ago.  This LINK will take you to the American website however you can likely still pick them up at Michael's Craft Store (as I did) or if you like to avoid real shopping during this time of year, they are also in stock on  The set includes shapes for pennants, footballs, jerseys and helmets.  I only used the jerseys and helmets although the recipe, which is coming up soon, makes enough cookies for the whole neighbourhood and then some, but I also felt I needed to make Christmas shapes too.  Of course you may have a favourite sugar cookie recipe or you might not have the time and in that case Pillsbury will do just fine.

Makes 5 dozen cookies

Without dragging it out farther... here is the recipe for Mom's Sugar Cookies.  There isn't any special instructions except throw it all in a mixer to combine.  Form it into a roll, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  If you don't refrigerate the dough it will be pretty much disastrous and frustrating as the dough won't be able to be worked with.  Roll out the dough and cut into shapes, football themed or otherwise and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8 minutes.  I use silicon mats on my baking sheets so the cookies don't get overly brown and so cleanup is a snap.  One substitution you can make is the butter/shortening.  You can use margarine instead and the recipe still turns out wonderfully.

Once the cookies are completely cooled you can frost them with your favourite method.  Back as a kid we'd just use your regular butter cream home made frosting with a myriad of sprinkles.  These days because my Hubby calls sprinkles "gravel" I bypass that method.  This year I purchased Cakemate Cookie Icing in various colours and although it didn't turn out to be my favourite product the cookies turned out pretty and tasty.

Go Riders!
Maybe you want to make a batch of these for your favourite Riders fan or just make some sweet memories with some close family members.  I hope this blog, even though it's strayed from it's normal football talk, was enjoyable to read and if it was please share it with others on your Christmas list.  Nothing says love like a home made gift wrapped stack of sugar cookies shared with our CFL family and friends.

Oh Snap! Looks pretty happy for a guy who just lost a leg!